The Full Wiki

Paula Abdul: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Paula Julie Abdul ( ; born June 19, 1962) is an Americanmarker pop singer, record producer, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality.

In the 1980s, Abdul rose from cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers to highly sought-after choreographer at the height of the music video era before scoring a string of Pop-R&B hits in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her for fifth among the female solo performers who have reached #1 there. She won a Grammy for "Best Music Video - Short Form" for "Opposites Attract" and twice won the "Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography." Abdul has sold approximateley 30 million albums worldwide since her singing debut in 1988.

After her initial period of success, she suffered a series of setbacks in her professional and personal life, until she found renewed fame and success in the 2000s as a judge on the television series, American Idol, for eight years, before departing from the show. Abdul has since been working on a new album, and hopes to have the album released by the end of 2009.


Abdul was born in the San Fernando Valleymarker of Los Angelesmarker, the daughter of Lorraine (née Rykiss), a concert pianist who once worked as film director Billy Wilder's assistant, and Harry Abdul, a former livestock trader and owner of a sand and gravel business. Her father, a Syrian Jew, was born in Syriamarker, raised in Brazilmarker, and subsequently emigrated to the United States; Abdul's mother, also Jewish, is originally from Saint Bonifacemarker (now part of Winnipeg), Manitobamarker, Canadamarker, and Abdul inherited Canadian citizenship through her.

An avid dancer, Abdul was inspired towards a show business career by Gene Kelly in the classic film Singin' in the Rain as well as Debbie Allen, Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse.

Abdul began taking dance lessons at the age of eight and showed a natural talent. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was a cheerleader and an honor student. At 15, she received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springsmarker, and in 1978 appeared in a low-budget Independent musical film, Junior High School.

Abdul studied broadcasting at the California State University at Northridgemarker. During her first year (freshman), she was selected from a pool of 700 candidates for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team—the famed Laker Girls. Within three months, she became head choreographer. Six months later, she left the university to focus on her choreography and dancing career.


Dance and choreography era (1982–1986)

Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons, after a few of the band members had watched her while attending a Los Angeles Laker game. She was signed to do the choreography for the video to their single "Torture". "My only problem was how to tell the Jacksons how to dance," Abdul later recalled. "Imagine me telling them what routines to do. I was young, I was scared. I'm not quite sure how I got through that." The success of the choreography in the video helped lead to Abdul's then new career of choreographer in music videos. It was also due to the success of the video that Abdul was chosen to be the choreographer for the Jacksons' Victory tour.

Abdul choreographed videos for several singers throughout the 1980s, including many videos for Janet Jackson during her Control era. In 1995, Abdul released a dance workout video entitled Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance! (re-released on DVD in 2003), a fast-paced, hip-hop style workout. In 1998 she released a second video called Cardio Dance (re-released on DVD in 2000). In December 2005, Abdul launched a cheerleading/fitness/dance DVD series called Cardio Cheer, which is marketed to children and teenage girls involved with cheerleading and dance.

In film, Abdul choreographed sequences for the giant keyboard scene involving Tom Hanks’s character in Big. Further credits include Coming to America, Action Jackson, Jerry Maguire, The Running Man, American Beauty , and Oliver Stone's, The Doors.Television credits include The Tracey Ullman Show, American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, and several commercials, such as The King's touchdown celebration, as seen in a string of popular Burger King television commercials that aired during the 2005–2006 NFL season.

Forever Your Girl era (1987–1990)

Paula Abdul, 1990
In 1987, Abdul used her savings to make a singing demo. Although her voice was relatively untrained, her exceptional dancing proved marketable to the visually-oriented, MTV-driven, pop music industry.

In 1988, Abdul released her pop debut album, Forever Your Girl. The album took 62 weeks to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart—the longest an album has been on the market before hitting #1—and spent 10 weeks there. The album eventually became multi-platinum in the spring and summer of 1989, and it spawned five American Top Three singles, four of them #1s (three in 1989 and one in 1990): "Straight Up", "Forever Your Girl", "Cold Hearted", " The Way That You Love Me", and "Opposites Attract". A remix album, Shut Up and Dance, was also released and reached #7 on Billboard's album chart, becoming one of the most successful remix albums to date. The Grammy award-winning video for "Opposites Attract" featured an animated cat named MC Skat Kat.Abdul also went on a Club MTV tour where she performed songs from her album. Several other acts were also on the tour.

In the early 1990s, Yvette Marine, backing vocalist on Forever Your Girl, claimed that she sang lead vocals on the album and sued Paula and Virgin Records for compensation. After one month of court proceedings, Abdul and Virgin won the case.

Spellbound era (1991–1994)

Abdul's follow-up album, 1991's Spellbound, contained another string of hits, and sold 13 million copies worldwide. The first single from Spellbound was the ballad, "Rush, Rush", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five consecutive weeks, and was noted for its music video and Rebel Without a Cause motif featuring Keanu Reeves in the James Dean role. "Promise of a New Day," the second release from the album, also hit No. 1, and it was followed by the Top 10 hit "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" and two Top 20 hits: "Vibeology" and "Will You Marry Me?." The album, Spellbound, retained much of the dance-oriented formula heard on her debut album. The track "U" was written for Paula by Prince.

Abdul promoted the album through the "Under My Spell Tour", which was named by an MTV contest for fans. This tour was nearly cancelled due to an accident during rehearsals. The tour began on schedule and ran from October 1991 to the summer of 1992. In 1991, Abdul embraced advertising and starred in a popular Diet Coke commercial in which she danced with a digital image of her idol, a young Gene Kelly.

Head Over Heels era (1995–1996)

By 1995 Paula Abdul had recovered from her battle with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa and prepared to return to the spotlight with her new album Head Over Heels. The album received mixed reviews, and its singles became modest radio hits. The first single off the album, "My Love Is for Real" featured a fusion of R&B and traditional Middle Eastern instruments, and was performed with Yemeni-Israeli singer Ofra Haza. Its accompanying Lawrence of Arabia-inspired music video was played in theaters across the world as a preface to the film Clueless. It was a hit in the clubs (peaking at #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart), but the single stalled at #28 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Despite the lack of mainstream chart success, the single was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards.

The second single, "Crazy Cool" became a minor hit in the U.S. yet managed to peak at #13 on the dance charts. "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" served as the third and final single but failed to chart in the Hot 100. To date Head Over Heels has sold 3 million copies worldwide, Abdul's lowest selling studio album.

Musical hiatus (1997–2001)

After the low sales of Head Over Heels and conquering her personal problems, Abdul took a hiatus from the music industry. In 2000, Abdul’s Paula Abdul: Greatest Hits CD was released by Virgin Records (with whom Abdul was already no longer affiliated). It featured all of her hit singles and other noteworthy tracks. The song "Bend Time Back 'Round" had previously been heard only on the 1992 soundtrack for the hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. The album was not a commercial success; however, it did sell more than one million copies worldwide.

In 1997, Abdul co-wrote "Spinning Around" along with fellow American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi; a dance-pop track intended to be the lead single off her new album. The album never materialized and "Spinning Around" was given to Kylie Minogue as a single. The song became highly successful and re-launched Minogue's career, as it was intended to do for Abdul, and reached #1 in numerous countries.

American Idol (2002–2009)

In 2002, Abdul appeared as one of three judges for the reality television music competition show American Idol. Abdul, along with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson (joined by Kara DioGuardi in 2009) were to evaluate the talent of a large group of young amateur singers, eliminate most of them in various audition rounds, and then judge the finalists as American television viewers voted on which finalists would continue to each successive round, until all but the winner were eliminated. Abdul won praise as a sympathetic and compassionate judge. She seemed especially kind compared to fellow judge Simon Cowell, who was often blunt in his appraisals of the contestants' performances. When she realized that Cowell's over-the-top judging style was heartbreaking for many young contestants, Abdul was so horrified, she considered leaving the show. Although their differences often resulted in extremely heated on-air exchanges and confrontations, Cowell says he played a major role in convincing Abdul not to leave the show.

Now a bona fide television celebrity, Abdul accepted a second assignment as reporter for Entertainment Tonight. Her knack for finding something positive in almost every performance, her emotion-laden praise for contestants whose style she really likes, and her unique fingers-bent-outwards handclapping style have fueled the belief among some that she is drunk during auditions. This rumor has been the subject of satire, especially by Amy Poehler during Saturday Night Live sketches and Nicole Parker on MADtv. This ability to give positive feedback to every performance has also led some people to say she is a poor judge incapable of constructive criticism.

Abdul has been criticized for falling back on the same cliches and pat phrases when praising or criticising Idol contestants with comments like "America loves you!", "You're authentic!" or "It wasn't your best performance." Several American comedy shows, including Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Mad TV, have capitalized on these catch-phrases when doing sketches involving an Abdul impersonator. They also imitate Abdul's unusual "arm-flapping" style of clapping her hands.

On March 28, 2006 Fox announced that Abdul had signed to stay on American Idol as a judge for at least three more years. Later that year, fellow American Idol judge Simon Cowell invited her to be a guest judge at some of the early auditions for the third series of his similar UKmarker talent show The X Factor. Abdul was present at the initial audition of the eventual winner, Leona Lewis.

The week of May 14 to May 18, 2007 (the week before the season 6 finale), Abdul broke her nose when she tried to "avoid tripping over her pet chihuahua". She was present at the May 22 performance and the May 23 finale.

Her second greatest-hits CD, entitled Greatest Hits: Straight Up!, was released by Virgin on May 8, 2007. This album was put together by Virgin Records, with whom Abdul was no longer signed as a recording artist. At this time, they also released the music videos to all six of her #1 singles to iTunes.

Bravo announced a reality television series following Abdul through her day-to-day life, called Hey Paula. The series was produced by Scott Sternberg Productions and debuted on June 28, 2007. Paula's behavior as depicted on the show has been described as 'erratic' by comedian Rosie O'Donnell. and decried by numerous fans and critics.

Abdul's American Idol wardrobe often includes a number of necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings that she designs, and she often gives show contestants custom-designed jewelry. In 2007, Paula Abdul Jewelry launched its nationwide consumer debut on QVC, with the tagline "fashion jewelry designed with heart and soul". Paula's first QVC appearance resulted in 15 sellouts of her first jewelry collection involving more than 34,000 pieces. Paula is currently about to release her own perfume entitled "Sexy Thoughts."

In January 2008, Paula returned to the music charts for the first time in nearly 13 years with the single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow", which is the first track on the album Randy Jackson's Music Club Vol 1. The song debuted on On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The song was a modest comeback hit for Paula, peaking at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Paula's MTV show "RAH!" premiered in January 2009. The 90-minute special featured five collegiate cheerleading squads, which competed in a series of challenges in order to be crowned the winner by Paula. A snippet of Paula's latest single "Boombox", a cover of a Kylie Minogue song, also premiered on the show.

On May 5, 2009, Paula debuted her new song "I'm Just Here for the Music" (originally an unreleased song from Kylie Minogue's ninth album Body Language) on the Ryan Seacrest Radio KIIS-FMmarker show. On May 6, 2009, Paula performed her new song on the American Idol results show. On May 8, 2009, Paula released "I'm Just Here For The Music" to the US iTunes Store.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on July 18, 2009, Paula's manager David Sonenberg told the newspaper that, "Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on ‘Idol’." This came about as a result of stalled negotiations between Paula and the show. Later on her Twitter page, Paula responded to her fans' messages of support by stating: "I’m actually moved to tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love, & undying support. God bless all of you!,” continuing, “If it weren’t for you, this specific time and situation would feel a whole lot worse!”. On August 4, 2009, after numerous contract negotiations, Abdul confirmed that she would not be returning to Idol for its ninth season. The Times cited reports Abdul had been earning as much as $5 million per season and that she was reportedly seeking as much as $20 million to return.

On August 18, 2009 it was reported that Abdul was negotiating to return Idol after not taking part in season nine of Dancing with the Stars. Two days later Abdul's manager said that there were not any talks with Fox, but they were not counting anything out.

Abdul claimed her departure from Idol was not about money, but that she had to stand on her principle.

On September 9, 2009 Ellen Degeneres was confirmed as Abdul's successor for Idol.

After Idol (2009–Present)

Paula hosted the 2009 VH1 Divas live in September. She also performed a medley of her number 1 hits "Straight Up", "Cold Hearted", "Opposites Attract", and "Forever Your Girl". Also on the program Paula poked fun at her Idol replacement Ellen DeGeneres, which was highly publicized in the media.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it is rumored that Paula may be brought on board for an American version of the U.K.'s hit talent show, X Factor. The show is to be produced by Simon Cowell and air during the Summer and Fall on Fox, when American Idol is not on.

Personal life

Abdul was married to Emilio Estevez from April 29, 1992 to May 1994. In a June 19, 2005 interview with People magazine Abdul stated that they broke up over the issue of children; she wanted them, while Estevez (who already had two children from a prior relationship) did not. She later married sportswear designer Brad Beckerman in 1996. They divorced in 1998.

Having recovered from her eating disorder after treatment in 1994, she later became a spokeswoman for NEDA, and was presented with the Profiles In Living Award in late 2005. She then continued her work by recording Public Service Announcements in 2006.

In April 2005, she revealed that she suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS) that causes chronic pain.

Paula practices Judaism and is proud of her heritage. She once stated, "My father is a Syrian Jew whose family immigrated to Brazil. My mother is Canadian with Jewish roots. My dream is to come to Israel for a real holiday." In November 2006, Israeli Tourist Minister Isaac Herzog invited her to Israelmarker, Abdul responding with a hug, adding, "I will come; you have helped me make a dream come true."

On Valentine's Day 2006, Abdul appeared on Dr. Phil as part of a prime time special on love and relationships. She was set up on two dates and Phil McGraw gave her advice.

Paula is also a dog lover who is currently raising awareness about National Guide Dog Month in May 2009 and she is teaming up with Dick Van Patten to help people with blindness to have more independence through the help of guide dogs.

In mid July 2007, Abdul announced that she had begun dating J.T. Torregiani, a restaurant owner 12 years her junior. She told Access Hollywood: "He is a good guy. Things are looking upwards. It's looking good right now. I wasn't even looking for someone and that's what usually happens." Paula and JT broke up in June 2008, citing their hectic work schedules.


Corey Clark

In May 2005, ABC's news magazine Primetime Live reported claims by Season 2 American Idol contestant Corey Clark that he and Abdul had an affair during that season, and that she had coached him on how to succeed in the competition. The fact that Clark came forward at a time when he was marketing a CD and trying to get a book deal was seen as suspicious by some, but Clark maintains that his career was being prejudiced because of his relationship with Abdul and that is why he came forward with the information to clear his name. For the most part, Abdul refused to comment on Clark's allegations. At the height of the debacle, Abdul appeared in a Saturday Night Live skit, making light of the situation. While Fox launched an investigation, Abdul received numerous calls of support from celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey; Barbara Walters even addressed the camera during an episode of ABC's The View to say she was ashamed to be part of an operation that would report Clark's flimsy tabloid claims under the guise of a news story. In August 2005 the Fox network confirmed that she would be returning to the show, as the investigation had found "insufficient evidence that the communications between Mr. Clark and Ms. Abdul in any way aided his performance".

Legal issues

On December 20, 2004, Abdul was driving her Mercedes on an L.A.-area freeway when she changed lanes and hit another vehicle. The driver and passenger snapped a photograph with a cell phone camera and wrote down the license plate number of the car, which was traced to Abdul. On March 24, 2005, Abdul was fined $900 and given 24 months of informal probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving in Los Angeles. In addition to the fines she was ordered to pay $775 for damage to the other car.

On April 4, 2006, Abdul filed a report at a Hollywoodmarker police station claiming she had been a victim of battery at a private party at about 1 a.m. April 2, according to L.A.P.D. spokesman police Lt. Paul Vernon. "According to Abdul, the man at the party argued with her, grabbed her by the arm and threw her against a wall", Vernon said. "She said she had sustained a concussion and spinal injuries".

Substance abuse allegations

Substance abuse allegations arose as the result of what some described as "erratic behavior" by Abdul during episodes of American Idol. After reading these allegations on message boards, Abdul told People magazine in April 2005 that she suffered from chronic pain for years following a "cheerleading accident" at age 17 and was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) in November 2004. Abdul says she is now pain-free following treatment, including the anti-inflammatory medication Enbrel.

Allegations arose again in January 2007 when videos circulated on the Internet of Abdul appearing to sway in her chair and slur her speech during a set of interviews. Abdul's publicist attributed this to fatigue and technical difficulties during the recording of the interviews. It was revealed on the Bravo show Hey Paula, which had followed Abdul with a video camera prior to the interviews, that Abdul had not been sleeping, perhaps suffering from some mild form of insomnia.

In February 2007, Abdul told Us Weekly that she had never been drunk or used illegal drugs and called the allegations "lies".

In a March 2007 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Abdul joked that her scrutinized behavior was caused by her being "abducted by aliens".

In several interviews given in the late 2000s, Paula claimed to have been left in debilitating pain after a 1992 car accident and a 1993 plane crash that required 15 spinal surgeries and which left her dependent on pain medication for years.

In May 2009, Ladies' Home Journal posted an article on its Web site that said Abdul told them she attended the La Costa Resort and Spa the previous year to recover from physical dependence on prescription pain medications. The medications, prescribed due to injuries and her RSD diagnosis, included a pain patch, nerve medication, and a muscle relaxant. According to the article, Abdul said the medications made her "get weird" at times and that she suffered from physical withdrawal symptoms during her recovery.

Later that same week, though, in an interview with Detroit radio station WKQI, Abdul rejected the article's accuracy. She told the radio station she never checked into a rehab clinic and never had a drug abuse problem.




Film and television
Year Film Role Notes
1978 Junior High School Sherry
1987 Can't Buy Me Love Dancer Uncredited
1997 Touched By Evil Elle Collier TV Movie
1998 The Waiting Game Amy Fuentes TV Movie
"Sabrina the Teenage Witch " Herself 1 Episode
1999 The Wayans Bros. Sasha 1 Episode
Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story Denise Walton TV Movie
2002–2009 American Idol Judge
2004 That's So Raven Undercover Judge 1 Episode
2005 Romy and Michele: In the Beginning Herself TV Movie
Less Than Perfect Kathleen 1 Episode
Robots Watch
2007 Hey Paula Herself 7 Episodes, also Executive Producer
2009 RAH! Paula Abdul's Cheerleading Bowl Herself Host
Brüno Herself Uncredited
2009 Drop Dead Diva Herself

As choreographer
Year Film Notes
1983 Private School
1986 A Smoky Mountain Christmas
1987 The Tracey Ullman Show Won 1989 Emmy Award for
"Outstanding Achievement in Choreography"
Can't Buy Me Love
The Running Man
1988 Action Jackson
Coming To America
1989 She's Out of Control
Dance To Win
The Karate Kid, Part III
1990 17th American Music Awards Won 1990 Emmy Award for
"Outstanding Achievement in Choreography"
1991 The Doors Val Kilmer's choreographer
1996 Jerry Maguire
1999 American Beauty
2001 Black Knight
2002 The Master of Disguise

See also


  1. Paula Abdul - LoveToKnow Celebrity
  2. A&E Biography
  3. The Official Website of Paula Abdul. Retrieved on February 24, 2008
  4. Paula Abdul did lead on 'Forever Your Girl': jury – Brief Article
  6. Cowell, S (2003): I don't mean to be rude, but..., p. 116–117, Random House. ISBN 978-0-7679-1741-4
  7. News
  9. Paula Abdul Jewelry homepage on QVC, retrieved May 13, 2007.
  10. Jewelry Industry News
  11. Paula, Randy & Ryan Unveil Her New Single Retrieved January 18, 2008
  12. Abdul's Rah! Cheerleading Bowl, retrieved January 13, 2009.
  13. Paula Abdul ‘Hurt,’ ‘Angry,’ May Not Return To ‘Idol’, retrieved July 20, 2009.
  14. Paula Abdul: "I've Decided Not to Return to Idol", retrieved August 4, 2009.
  15. Paula Abdul negotiating a return to ‘Idol’
  16. Exclusive: Paula Abdul's manager: "There have been no discussions whatsoever about 'Idol'"
  17. Paula Abdul Says Leaving Idol Wasn’t About Money
  18. Ellen DeGeneres Replacing Paula Abdul on Idol
  20. Abdul says odd behavior not drug-related, USA Today, 2005-04-20. Retrieved on 2005-04-20
  21. Paula Abdul Finally Restores Her Love Life, All Headline News, 2007-07-19. Retrieved on 2007-07-19
  22. The View, episode airing July 19, 2007
  23. Access Hollywood, episode airing July 18, 2007
  24. AP., Abdul pokes fun at sex scandal on ‘SNL’, (2005-05-11), Retrieved on 2007-02-12
  25. AP., After probe, Paula Abdul to remain on ‘Idol’, (2005-08-24), Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  26. AP., 'Idol' Judge Fined For Hit-And-Run,, 2005-03-24, Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  27. AP, Paula Abdul Tells Police She Was Assaulted,, 2006-04-06, Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  28. Paula Abdul seen slurring in TV interview, Reuters via, 2007-01-15, Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
  29. Paula Abdul claims she’s ‘squeaky clean’, Associated Press via, 2007-02-13, Retrieved on 2007-02-15
  30. Paula Abdul Reveals Struggle with Prescription Painkillers, People, 2009-05-05, Retrieved on 2009-05-06

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address